SolarRoof.cool

A crash course on Tesla's Solar Roof, Powerwall, and sustainable energy systems, from the perspective of an owner.

The Tesla Solar Roof is the most beautiful roof that you can have on your home that generates clean solar energy.

It’s Tesla’s entry into the premium solar shingle market, and after years of hype, they’re finally ramping up installs. Tesla targets the Solar Roof at homeowners with aging roofs that value both renewable energy generation and aesthetics.

In November 2019, Tesla installed a 10.37 kW Solar Roof and 2 Powerwalls on our house. (According to some Tesla folks I talked to, we are public installation number two of the v3 Solar Roof.) We’ve had the system on and operating for the past few weeks, and I’ve learned a ton from owning it.

This website, SolarRoof.cool, is a giant, detailed brain-dump of everything I have to share about the Solar Roof, based on all the questions people have had for me. The goal is to go wide and deep on everything related to the Solar Roof and the installation as a whole—stuff that isn’t immediately obvious or isn’t in the marketing materials.

A wide view of our house equipped with Tesla Solar Roof

Real-time Data

I include some live production and usage data in various parts of the site. This data is a near-real-time stream from our system, based on what it’s generating right now. I’m excited to share live numbers with you; I went to great lengths to hook this data up (including reverse engineering lots of bits of the Tesla API specific to this product), and I think it gives a bit of a real meatiness to this site.

-- kW Solar Power
Local Time:
T
-- kW Generated Today
-- % Self Powered
-- kW Powerwall Power
-- % Charged
-- kW Energy Stored
-- kW Grid Power
-- % Exported to Grid
-- kW Imported from Grid

Here’s a quick ten-foot view to provide some initial context:

  • During the day (Pacific Time), you’ll see the Solar Roof generating power and charging the Powerwalls. Charging is depicted as a negative kW value.
  • The system prioritizes fully charging the Powerwalls to get to 100%. Any excess solar power generated this goes to the grid.
  • At 3pm PST—the start point of partial-peak and peak pricing—the system shifts away from the grid power to Powerwall power, and starts to export any solar energy (even if the Powerwalls are not fully charged).
  • If the Powerwalls are out of stored energy, the house switches back to pulling power from the grid. At the time of publishing, we’re still in winter, which means lower solar production (for everybody, not just us), so it’s less likely to see us back-feeding into the grid—I don’t expect the Powerwalls to hit 100% charge.